Hiroshi Sugimoto / Japan/United States b.1948 / Hall of Thirty-Three Bays (nos  1–24) 1995 / Gelatin silver photograph, ed. 8/25 / 24 sheets: 42 x 54cm (each) / The Kenneth and Yasuko Myer Collection of Contemporary Asian Art. Purchased 1999 with funds from The Myer Foundation, a project of the Sidney Myer Centenary Celebration 1899–1999, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / © The artist

Hiroshi Sugimoto
Hall of Thirty-Three Bays (nos 1–24) 1995

Not Currently on Display

This photograph shows a small number of the 1000 sculptures of the Kannon bodhisattva housed in the Sanjūsangen dō Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. At dawn, the sun strikes the Kannon and the sculptures are lit by natural light. Hiroshi Sugimoto’s series of photographs shows the variations in the appearance of these figures — all 1000 figures are slightly different.

Hiroshi Sugimoto was born in Tokyo, where he completed his first degree at Rikkyo University. In 1970, he moved to Los Angeles to complete his Master of Fine Arts. In the United States, Sugimoto began working in photography, developing a serial, minimalist style.

In 1974 he moved to New York, where he currently lives. Sugimoto is interested in how photographic images convey a sense of ritual. Although they look identical, the images in Hall of Thirty-Three Bays (nos 1–24) 1995 are distinctly different. Their tiny variations invite the viewer to contemplate the concept of infinity.